Everyone has their own character. It's the sum of our attitude (our own personal pattern of emotions and actions), our beliefs (our opinions, judgments and acceptance of what is true), and our commitments (how we choose to act). Our character affects our first impression with others and defines how our peers, subordinates or bosses at work view us.
Attitude advice from a pup
My dog, Maple, turned one year old yesterday and she celebrated the day by doing what she does everyday - living it to the fullest! How does a puppy understand that the attitude with which we approach each day goes a long way towards defining how the day goes for us?
For those of you who don't know it, I'm a runner! However, the other day I headed out and found myself going straight into a strong head wind. At times, it seemed that no matter how hard and fast I tried to run, it felt like I wasn't moving at all. Not a great feeling – expending all that effort and energy and not moving forward. And yet, that's often how we can feel at work. We're working hard and putting in long hours but it feels like things are just not moving how we want them to.
While the question, "What is wrong with the world?" certainly has great relevance with the recent Boston Marathon, this question was once asked of English writer G.K. Chesterton who was invited by The Times, along with several eminent authors, to write an essay addressing this topic. I'll get to his answer later, but I am sure we've all at one time or another asked this question of ourselves, our political and/or our religious leaders. It can certainly appear that it is the responsibility of our elected or spiritual leadership to cure the ills of the world but this can be a rather limited approach.
We all participate in teams in some aspect of our job or personal life. We all understand that the function of a team is to accomplish the results or achieve the goal that it sets out to achieve. It sounds simple, a little pre-planning, find the right people with the right skills, define the goal and let the rest take care of itself. Why then in sports, do we so often see that the best teams 'on paper' fail to achieve their goal of winning the championship? Why then in business, do we so often find teams that fail to achieve what they set out to do when they have the right people and resources?
The sporting world provides many examples of how good coaching results in good teams that lead to consistent performance over long timeframes and through periods of high stress. Can we as Managers bring some of this coaching skill and expertise into the workplace to assist in the development and performance of our employees? If so, what are some of the challenges we face, what are the competencies we require? Better yet, is it worth our time and energy to become a coach to our employees?